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2020 hopeful Michael Bennet: 'I don't think I'm out of step' in saying socialism is not the answer

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit Congress needs to fix the broken market for antibiotic development Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-Colo.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said on Sunday that his dismissal of socialism as a solution for America is not out of the mainstream for the Democratic Party.

"I don't think I'm out of step," Bennet told ABC’s “This Week.” "I think we have 230 years of being the longest-lived democracy on the planet. That's something we need to preserve."

 

 

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Bennett made the comments in response to a viral moment in which his fellow Democratic presidential candidate, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE, was booed at the California Democratic Convention over the weekend for saying a candidate espousing socialism could not defeat President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE in 2020.

Quipping that Hickenlooper’s primary error was “denounc[ing] socialism in San Francisco,” Bennet conceded that “we have had 40 years of no economic mobility in the United States … 90 percent of the American people have not shared in the economic growth over the last 40 years.”

For those not reached by the benefits of economic growth, Bennet said, “those periods of economic growth have acted as a recession, and as a result, they can’t afford the basic components of a middle-class life.”

A poor American’s chances of advancing to the middle class, Bennet added, are lower now than they have been in generations.

“That is tearing at our democracy, and if we don’t figure out a way to address it… we’re going to have real problems,” he said, saying that candidates need not embrace socialism to believe in the idea that “everyone has a share in our prosperity.”

Bennet, who is on the moderate end of the Democratic primary field, made headlines last week when he volunteered to work with one of the faces of the progressive flank of his party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez says she ranked Wiley first, Stringer second in NYC mayoral vote Five things to watch in the NYC mayor's race primary Heatwaves don't lie: Telling the truth about climate change MORE (D-N.Y.), and one of the most conservative Republican senators, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry DeSantis tops Trump in 2024 presidential straw poll White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE (R-Texas), on legislation to ban former members of Congress from corporate lobbying.